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Education Rights draft resolution (abridged)

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Education Rights draft resolution (abridged)
proposed for adoption by the June 2006 convention of the Green Party of Minnesota

Author: Doug Mann, 7 co-sponsors from MN senate district 61 Green Party caucus meeting on March 7, 2006

[Updated 13 March 2006]

The Green Party of Minnesota calls for the employment of all necessary means to ensure that high quality educational programs are accessible to all public school students on an equal basis.

The Green Party of Minnesota supports the right of students to an 'adequate education' without regard to race, color, gender, sexual orientation, and disability.

The Green Party of Minnesota calls for full compliance with the Minnesota constitution, the equal protection clause of the 14th amendment to the US constitution, and Minnesota's Desegregation Rule, which requires the State of Minnesota and local school districts to maintain a uniform system of public education and provide an adequate education to all students without regard to race.


Minnesota's Desegregation Rule designates schools as being "racially identifiable" if the enrollment of students of color is more than 20% above the district average for grade levels served.

Racially identifiable schools are permitted if their 'educational inputs' are comparable to schools that are not racially identifiable. Teacher turnover rates and years of classroom teaching experience are measurable educational inputs that have been found to correlate strongly with student achievement levels in the Minneapolis Public Schools.

In the Minneapolis Public Schools there is a very strong correlation between high teacher turnover rates and high concentrations of newly hired and inexperienced teachers in schools where students of color are over-represented.


The teaching staff at all public schools in Minneapolis can be stabilized to a great extent by ending the practice of sending layoff notices to a lot of teachers who are obviously not going to be laid off.

For example, in 2005 the MPS board planned to cut about 125 full time teacher position but sent lay-off notices to 575 teachers (over one-third classroom teachers in regular education programs).

The teacher assignment system should be modified to more equally distribute less experienced teachers. The seniority and tenure rights of teachers should not be compromised beyond what is minimally required to reserve jobs for inexperienced teachers at all schools.

In order to evaluate the effectiveness of instruction and tutorial activities, teachers and administrators need a curriculum with clear, coherent learning objectives that are aligned to testing procedures.

Watered-down curriculum tracks should be phased out as a means to improve outcomes for all students. Students of color are generally over-represented in ’slow learner’ tracks.

School districts should establish bilingual programs for English Language Learners who lack basic proficiency reading and writing in their native language.

Students receiving special education services are entitled to an education in the least restrictive environment possible. Appropriate services should not be withheld until a student's academic achievement level is 2 years below their assigned grade level or assessed cognitive ability.

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